Publised date : 09 Apr 2020

Perthshire SNP politicians Mr John Swinney MSP, Ms Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Mr Pete Wishart MP and Mr John Nicolson MP have written to the Association of British Insurers urging full support for Perthshire businesses affected by COVID-19.

The intervention comes after multiple businesses across the region have contacted their elected representatives with concerns over the conduct of insurance companies. In particular, several businesses had been told that their business disruption cover would not pay out under the current circumstances, despite clear UK and Scottish Government instructions to close down. The most common reason given for this is that COVID-19 is not specifically listed in their policy fine print.

Commenting, Mr Swinney said:

“Too many businesses across Perthshire are facing uncertainty due to the stance of some insurance companies. It is vital that business owners, who have paid their premiums in good faith, are given the proper support from their insurers.

“To that end, I am hopeful that the ABI will provide clarity on this issue and ensure that businesses across the region are provided with the help they need to get back on their feet.”

Mr Wishart added:

“It is clear that people remain deeply unsatisfied with the response from their insurer. Businesses take out this sort of cover specifically to protect them in times of crisis and to be told that they will not be covered because this virus is not specifically mentioned in their policy is causing real financial hardship for many. If insurers do not think again on this, it is perfectly plausible that they will have fewer businesses to insure going forward.”

Ms Cunningham added:

“I completely appreciate that this is a difficult time for insurance companies, just as it is for all sort of other businesses across all economic sectors. 
“Nevertheless, I would urge them to recognise the impact of this crisis on their customers whose businesses have suffered massive disruption and that is why we are writing to the insurance industry’s representative body, the Association of British Insurers to ask what they can do to ensure that their members support businesses who have taken out insurance against business disruption.”

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